2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport SUV Problems and Complaints


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2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport SUV Problems, Issues, Complaints, Recalls, and Which Year to Avoid

Updated on: May 4, 2022

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Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor

As the two-row version of the revered Santa Fe model, the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is a fitting alternative for those looking for a compact and more accessible option. It adheres to the levels of refinement and performance of its elder sibling but builds its place with a couple of potent engine options, a comprehensive list of features, and a comfortable aura. Additionally, it is equally impressive in terms of safety and reliability and scores cent-percent ratings in the tests. While its 100 complaints and 2 recalls do not seem worrisome, the Santa Fe Sport has an urgent recall relating to its ABS unit, which can result in a fire. Additionally, it has recurring engine problems as well, which do take away from the ownership experience. The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe price starts at around $25,000 and it competes with the likes of the Ford Escape, the Mazda CX-5, and the Honda CR-V.

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2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport User Complaints

Safety Complaints

  • Illumination of airbag lights: In several cases, buyers of the 2018 Santa Fe Sport have reported the airbag warning light illuminating unexpectedly. While the error is momentary, buyers have reported its recurrence as well. This illumination could indicate an error in the occupant detection system, which could interfere with the airbag’s functioning.

Mechanical Complaints

  • Excessive oil consumption: Among the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport problems, complainants have noted the vehicle to consume oil, excessively. As a result, the oil needs to be replenished excessively. The unusual oil consumption hampers the vehicle’s performance, results in unexpected stalling, and can also damage the engine’s components and its longevity.
  • Inadvertent Stalling: The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport engine problems are related to its unexpected stalling. Buyers have noticed the vehicle losing its power and the subsequent illumination of the check engine light. In most cases where an inspection was made, an engine replacement was required for the SUV to function normally. In other instances, damage to the fuel injectors have also led to the failure of the engine.
  • Failed response to acceleration inputs: Buyers of the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport have also reported issues with its acceleration. Despite the pedal being pressed, the vehicle fails to accelerate, while in other situations, it responds with a delay. In one case, it has also led to a crash that resulted in injuries to the occupants of both vehicles involved.
  • Service brake issues: Several buyers have reported the inability of the braking system to bring the vehicle to halt on time. Additionally, some have also recorded a knocking sound when brakes are applied. However, the most concerning at the moment relates to a possible risk of fire due to a malfunctioning ABS unit. Hyundai has introduced an urgent recall to look into the matter, referenced by NHTSA ID 22V056000, and has issued instructions for buyers to follow.
  • Steering system concerns: Among the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport issues, buyers have also reported the steering system to behave erratically and stick to a certain position. As a result, the vehicle becomes unstable and requires constant correction from the driver.

Exterior Complaints

  • Issues with the headlights: In the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, buyers of the SUV have noticed a dark spot on the headlights, which results in a shadow formation. As a result, the illumination from the lights seems reduced, which in turn affects the driver’s visibility.

Structural Complaints

  • Structural Deficiencies: In a couple of cases, buyers of the SUV have reported the sunroof of the vehicle exploding unexpectedly. Without any incidence or impact, the glass shatters, which can increase the risk of an injury. In one other case, a complainant has also observed the exterior paint chipping from the hood of the vehicle.

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Recalls

S. No



Issues Noticed

Additional Remarks



3rd Feb 2022


Possible engine compartment fire

Due to a malfunction in the ABS unit, there might be a chance of an electric short circuit that could result in an engine compartment fire.

Dealers will replace the ABS unit multi-fuse, free of cost. Till the recall is made, owners are advised to follow the brand’s instructions.


17th Feb 2018


Separation of steering wheel from column

Due to the steering wheel assembly getting fractured, the steering wheel might separate from its column.

Upon inspection of production lot number, dealers will replace the steering wheel assembly, free of charge.


13th Dec 2017


Inflator component may detach upon deployment

Due to detachment of the inflator component, the side curtain airbag might not inflate properly during deployment.

Dealers will replace the passenger and driver side curtain airbags, free of charge.


20th Sept 2017


Fractured front coil springs

Due to improper manufacturing, the front coil springs may fracture during operation.

Since vehicles are unsold at, dealers were instructed to replace the coil springs before sale.

Should you buy the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport?

The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is a mixed bag of emotions. While its complaints and recalls feel adequate per its sale figures, the SUV has some widespread and grave problems. These include its notorious engine, which stalls unexpectedly, and also its ABS unit, which remains at risk of fire. Due to the nature of the complaint, Hyundai has recommended the buyers to not drive the vehicles and park them safely until the recall is completed. So, if you are in the market for a compact SUV, we would dissuade you from buying the Korean option. However, we suggest buyers go for the 2018 Ford Escape instead, which has the least worrisome statistics and a consistent performance record. 

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